When a person ages, it becomes harder and harder for them to stay active and incorporate exercise into their daily routine. After avoiding exercise and physical activity for long enough, the muscles begin to atrophy, and it becomes harder for a senior individual to do even simple daily activities. The good news is that adding a little bit of exercise into your daily greatly improves anyone and especially seniors’ health, and helps with reducing the risk of falls, keeping your mind healthy, feeling positive and helping get a better night’s sleep. The benefits are immense and too long to be listed here but you might be asking, what can I do to increase the activity/exercise in my daily routine? There are many ways to incorporate and those that don’t have much physical activity incorporated into their daily routines will see the greatest benefit.
A good place to start of course is speaking with your doctor. Often, they know you best and can talk about the trends they have noticed. Also, they can tell you about specifically tailored exercises that will create the most benefit. Staying in touch with them throughout the whole process is a great idea because by using the feedback they receive from you they can help achieve your goals quicker and in a much safer manner.
Set aside a certain amount of time for daily exercise. This could be 10-20 minutes initially and include very moderate activities like walking, doing chores, completing some light yard work. Once the activities become easier (as a senior, you really shouldn’t be working out to the point where you are sore), it’s all right to increase the activity time allotted.
The most important part of any workout program is to make sure you are having a good time. This means, try to pick activities that you enjoy such as walking around the mall, going swimming, engaging with friends in an active manner and even taking it high tech and playing Wii or Xbox Kinect which incorporate activity into their game modules. The easiest way to kill a workout route is to not enjoy what you are doing. If you are more social, many times your local senior center will have active events planned which makes it easier for some people to ensure they are getting the right amount of activity.
A lot of the elderly adults we work with enjoy volunteer work. One of the places that always need volunteers is your local hospital. The volunteers are generally kept fairly busy and mobile. Showing family members to the patients, giving directions, leading the individuals that need directions to their desired location, delivering flowers and gifts and running general errands are great ways to get a daily allotment of exercise while engaging positively in the community.
Jacob Edward is the manager of Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning. Jacob founded both companies in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long term care planning. Senior Planning provides assistance to seniors and the disabled finding and arranging senior care, as well as applying for other state and federal benefits.